Skip to main content

Full text of "NightRider"

See other formats


66

intended to kill Tad Duffy he would have done it that day at
the spring. If he had planned, later, to kill Duffy in cold
blood, he would have planned it differently. Not on the
road in the middle of the afternoon, with no cover. He
would have found Duffy in the path through the woodlot
some evening or down in the canebrake by the river. Mr.
Munn looked at the big man lolling somnolently on the cot,
and for the instant could almost see him leaning against a
tree-trunk in the woods in the gathering dusk, with a knife
appearing small and inconsequential in his great hand; or
crouching in the cane by the path, and suddenly rising to
seize the wrist of the passing man and swing him around
while the knife fell and fell.

He shook his head abruptly. No, that was not the way
Bunk Trevelyan would do it Not planned and calculated
like that, but all at once in the blaze of fury, not in the
woods or in the canebrake after waiting. He studied the
man's face, full-fleshed, but the flesh not concealing the long,
heavy structure of the bone; and the blood seemed just below
the surface of the sunburned, too-thin skin that was tight over
the strong flesh. Against the redness of the flesh the red,
unkempt, sun-streaked hair, like the hairs on his hands,
looked pale. No, Bunk Trevelyan would do it all in a
moment, with the sudden leap, or the rage-blind squeeze of
the trigger. He would have done it, if at all, at the spring.

This conviction was so firm in him that it was scarcely
shaken even when, in the early afternoon of the second day
of the trial, Mr, Little was called to the stand and testified
about the knife, Mr. Little testified that in his hardware
store, early in the afternoon of August second, 1904, he sold
a kiteher knife to the defendant. He recollected it just as it
was without any question, he said, because the knife he sold to
the defendant was the first knife in a new order that had
ftist come in the day before. He knew that that was the
octet day because he had the record in his store of the day
the box came in, and he had checked up by the express
cwpaay, too, before he ever opened Ms mouth to anybody